This is Maria Emilia. It was my sister´s birthday present and her make-up and garments have a family story behind.
My sister had started to show an interest in the Mexican Dia de los Muertos and it crossed my mind that I could make her a doll, inspired by Erica Tattoos´s one that I had seen before in Craftster. I didn´t even have a doll, so from the very beginning networking was going to be a must!
QUEST FOR A DOLL
I wondered where on earth I had put all the horrendous porcelain dolls that my schoolmates would give to me birthday after birthday… All of them were gone. So next step: buy one? No! What about asking people if they had one they want to get rid of? That´s how I met Maria Emilia. The pale-faced doll wore an old-fashioned dull violet dress (sun hat included) and was living in the house of my boyfriend´s grandparents. Her cloying and innocent look was unbearable. I brought her home straight off.
Maria Emilia needed ribs, thigh bones, toes and make up.
I have at home 4 or 5 different types of paint but I had never painted porcelain before, that´s why I asked to my artist friend Patricia which one would suit best. She said “Whichever!! Just try a bit of each and check.” Alright! I took Maria Emilia´s shoes off and painted stripes on her soles with the different paints I have. I picked satin tempera. Done! but wait… what I am going to paint?¿?
I put my sketch pad and crayons in my bag and went to visit my grandparents. My grandpa is incredibly active for his age, but unfortunately my grandma suffers from rheumatism, so she spends long hours sitting. I was sitting next to her at the table, asking her advice on the make-up possibilities – blue and yellow? green and orange? – sketching how it would look like when I realised that she had grabbed a crayon and was painting in the corner of the piece of paper! I have always told her that she must do something else apart from watching tv and doing the chores but, honestly, I had never thought WHAT! Now you can be sure she´ll soon have her own sketch pad and crayons.
Obviously the final verdict was red and blue. My granny said “She´ll be a beautiful doll, weird though”
My mother enrolled on the Maria Emilia team at this stage. She used to sew dresses for their kids´ Barbys so I encouraged her to take part as an expert! Well, in fact she is not a tailor but she is the best at achieving whatever she wants one way or another. In this case she did as much as she could, and then she asked to a college of her for help. Every day during a couple of weeks my mother would cross home´s door after her working day and yell “check out how the dress is going!!!” The point: having a network of friends and relatives is absolutely important – whatever the problem you face!
THE FINAL TOUCH
I could have added accessories and details until the Last Judgement, but I stopped myself. Too much fashion decoration would have overshadowed Maria Emilia itself. I did her hair with an improvised hairpin and spent a couple of hours designing a label with Photoshop.
Well, I should had recorded the face my sister put when she saw Maria Emilia for the first time. She got such a fright!!! but after the initial impression she loved it. Who wouldn´t?
Thank you for reading